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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to William Caswell
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
February 08, 1776
Volume 15, Pages 685-687

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Dobbs, Newington, 8th February, 1776.

My Dear Son:

Your letter of the 24th of January, I this moment received and rejoice to hear of yours and Mr. Herritage's health, tho' Lowly. Men in your Situation are often so & when you Consider the great Cause you are engaged in, You will, I flatter myself, think your Sufferings from those small Vermin not worth Notice. However, if it is in my power to send you Shirts I will most Chearfully do it or any thing else within the Compass of my power. I did not doubt but you had Carried all the Clothes you had at Newbern with you or I would have prevailed on Capt. Bright to have Carried you two or three Shirts. He set out from hence about the Middle of January. What was gone with him when you wrote, God knows. I am sure he had Time to have been with you. I had mentioned my intention of going with him to Virginia, but my Leg was, when he set out, in such a State Occasioned by the Kick of a Horse that I could not Venture to Travel so far. It is not quite well yet, but I hope soon will be. I am persuaded the Troops will soon return to this province, as I understand the Committee have requested it. But if that should not be the case, you no doubt will be able to Obtain leave to come home if it is but for a few days, but lest neither of these things should happen, I will, the first Opportunity I have, send your Horse to the Camp. When you get to Suffolk you will have frequent Opportunities of Writing to me, and if I find you are like to make any Stay there I will procure some Letters from Mr. Miller to his Friends there in your Favor. If other Officers are dissatisfied with the Service it is no rule you should. I hope my Dear Child, the Virtuous cause you are engaged in and the hope you have of giving the little Assistance in your power to the relief of your Country, and as far as your power extends, will Stimulate you to put up with Hardships, Fatigues & inconveniences which others may shudder at, to ward off that Slavery which is Attempted to put the present, as well as the future, generation under in this once happy Land. Don't mistake me when I say the dissatisfaction of others ought not to be a rule for you, nor think that I would wish you to be one Moment in a Service your own Conscience does Not

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tell you it is your duty to Attend and even Sacrifice that life which I have been an instrument in the Hands of your Maker of giving you. You know I would not wish you to remain a day longer from me or those of your Family to whom you are very dear if I did not think your own, mine & Our Country's Honor & Welfare required it.

Let Virtue, Honor & Prudence conduct you. If I never have the Pleasure of Seeing you again in this World, my prayers shall be daily made to the Almighty disposer of all things to Bless you in the next. I am here (without any of the White people of my Family except your little Brother Jack) preparing the Houses to Accommodate your Mother & Children, who I hope will be all here before the end of this Month. They all Express a great desire to see you & were well three days ago, as was your Grand Mother, Aunt & Couzen & all Friends.

I wrote Mr. Herritage by Capt. Bright, or at least mentioned in your Letter the Complaint, both of Mr. Kellow & his people. I yet think He ought to give directions to some person what to do at Harrow.

We have nothing scarce worth mentioning to you as News here. Three privateers are Fiting out; one at Wilmington, one at Newbern & the other at Edenton. That at Edenton will soon be fit for the Seas. The Troops on the Continental establishment are to be augmented to 1,500; each Company is to have 75 privates, 4 Sergeants, 4 Corporals & 2 Lieuts, so that 'tis probable that you may be a Lieut. Cloths are to be Purchased for the Soldiers & the price deducted out of their pay. I am to Purchase for the Newbern Detachment & to procure Cartridge Boxes, but without a return of such as want them, 'twill not be in my power. I reced. a Letter a few days ago from Mr. Robert Smith of Edenton; it had been long on its passage, informing me that he was going to Norfolk to pay off the Edenton men and said he expected the Newbern Men would apply to him for Money as they and the officers had all Complained they had received no Pay. Surely those Gentlemen would not behave in that manner. They were all paid up to the latter end of October, and had £200 beside when they went away from Newbern for each Company which was as much as they Chose to take, and every Capt. received some Money from Mr. Johnston at Edenton. This being the case, if they expressed themselves as above it was by no

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means treating me in the manner I should have expected. I have made this letter longer than I intended, and yet do not know how it is to go to you, but send it to Col. Salter. Remember me to John Herritage and all Friends.

With hopes of seeing you soon, I Conclude,
Your ever affectionate Father,